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How to stay lucky this Ghost Month

BROAD CAST - Jing Castañeda - Philstar.com
How to stay lucky this Ghost Month

Most Pinoys are firm believers in luck. It’s no wonder that “malas” (bad luck) and “suwerte” (good luck) are at the forefront of our everyday vocabulary. Because our country is a melting pot of cultures, many of us look to the customs and traditions of our Fil-Chi brothers and sisters for tips and tricks on how to attract good fortune and prosperity.

With Ghost Month right around the corner, #PamilyaTalk recently had Feng Shui Master Hanz Cua over for our episode called “Feng Shui 2022: Kontra Malas.” In that highly informative hour, Master Hanz helped us learn more about Ghost Month and how to ward off the bad luck that may come during this time.

Ghost Month: What and when Is It?

Ghost Month is the seventh month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar. And because the Chinese New Year falls on a different day each year, the start of Ghost Month also varies annually. This 2022, Ghost Month starts on July 29 and ends on August 26, both of which fall on a Friday. 

What makes this month different from all the others? 

Buddhists and Taoists believe that the guardians of the underworld open the gates of hell—which, let’s be clear, is different from the Christian concept of hell—to release the souls for their annual furlough. 

But Master Hanz says they don’t all go out at once. Instead, they form a queue and wait their turn to be released. That’s why the 15th day of Ghost Month is considered its peak. On that day, all of the Hungry Ghosts have made their way out of the gates. This 2022, that peak date falls on August 12. 

Because Hungry Ghosts can be mischievous, Master Hanz cautions that they can bestow bad luck to the living. That’s why big life decisions should be avoided all throughout the month.

What are Hungry Ghosts and can they harm the living?

Master Hanz says that ghosts who emerge from the gates are the restless spirits of those who have wronged others or have committed crimes during their lifetime, as well as those who have met a tragic, accidental, or sudden death. 

Because they have been deprived of all joy in the afterlife, they emerge from hell as Hungry Souls who are in search of food, prayers, fun, and even mischief. That’s why the incidences of bad luck and unexplained events are likely to increase during Ghost Month.

Though they can’t directly harm us, Hungry Ghosts tend to bring misfortune, such as accidents and conflict, to the living. However, it is these bouts of bad luck that may lead to anywhere from minor inconveniences to court disputes and even to physical harm.

For more information on how to ward off the bad luck that Hungry Ghosts may bring, watch this episode with Tita Jing and Feng Shui Master Hanz Cua here on #PamilyaTalk!

Avoiding the bad, attracting the good

During our conversation, Master Hanz repeatedly emphasized that we shouldn’t fear Ghost Month, especially because there are many ways to counter its ill effects. But he also reminds us to take this occasion to remember and honor our dearly departed. That way we can be assured that they will remain happy in the afterlife.  This Ghost Month, remember your loved ones and help turn Hungry Ghosts into Happy Ghosts through the following DOs and DON’Ts 

Do offer prayers

Whether at church, your home altar, or a temple, offering prayers will help ease their burden. Do visit your loved ones’ graves before they visit you, jokes Master Hanz.

Do burn incense, candles and paper money

The incense and candles will help light their way. Paper money specifically meant for Hungry Ghost Month will give them wealth in the afterlife. If you have the budget to spare, you can even treat them to other luxuries such as a paper car or other creature comforts.

Angela Roma Pexels

Do keep your house light and bright

Hungry Ghosts linger in the dark. Keeping your surroundings bright will discourage them from paying you a visit.

Do wear ‘yang’ colors

Hungry Ghosts are attracted to ‘yin’ (dark or muted) colors, like black, white, dark blue, and gray. Yang colors that are bright may keep them at bay. Choose lively shades of red, yellow, orange and green. Neon colors work well too.

Do use salt

The use of salt for purification and protection is common among many cultures. Master Hanz recommends protecting your doors and windows with rock salt. If you’re in transit, you may also bring salt with you in a brightly colored cloth bag.

Don’t tap people on the shoulder

And especially not when their backs are turned. For all you know, you could be tapping a Hungry Ghost by mistake.

Don’t call out names. And if you hear yours being called, don’t turn right away.

When you call out a name, a similarly named Hungry Ghost might be within earshot. If someone calls out to you, slowly turn your entire body, not just your head. You may be in for a fright if you aren’t careful.

Don’t leave clothes hanging at night or in dark rooms

Especially avoid hanging clothes that assume the human form. Fold them instead. Hungry Ghosts may covet the clothing. Once they attach themselves to the clothes, they will eventually attach themselves to the wearer.

Do bring special good luck charms 

If you have the funds to spare, Master Hanz says that you can buy certain crystals, amulets, statuettes, and other good luck charms to ward off misfortune. 

Adisak Mitrprayoon Getty Images Signature

Photo Courtesy: Adisak Mitrprayoon Getty Images Signature

Do offer goodies and treats

Typical food offerings include rice, fruit, meat dishes, buns, and sweets. But Master Hanz says you may also leave beer or cigarettes to appease their other cravings. But he says that these offerings should be left outside your door so that the ghosts will have no need to enter your home.

You may replace these offerings periodically. You may even consume them yourself, but Master Hanz says they will probably be flavorless if the ghosts have already had their fill. If you plan on eating the offerings, you may do so after lighting incense and allowing it to burn all the way through.

Mumemories Getty Images

But it’s just one month

Ultimately, however, Ghost Month is fleeting. It’ll be over before we know it. As Master Hanz says, it’s nothing to be afraid of. Rather, it should serve as a reminder to honor our dearly departed, appease unfortunate souls, and live our best possible life here on earth.

So whether you believe in Ghost Month or not, all these DOs and DON’Ts are just meant to guide us, to help us cover all the bases as it were. Because in the end, we hold our fate in our own hands. 

Along with prayer, good deeds, and hard work, the power of a positive mind, a positive mindset, and a positive disposition will lead us towards living our best possible life.



Watch Pamilya Talk on FacebookYouTube and Kumu (@JingCastaneda – 12:00 noon – 1:00 p.m. Monday & Wednesday). You can also follow my social media accounts:  InstagramFacebookYouTubeTiktokTwitter and Kumu.  Please share your stories or suggest topics at [email protected]  


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